Scientists from the U.S. and Sweden are saying that a contraceptive tablet that acts like the morning-after pill and could be ingested up to a month after sex is probably possible.
The researchers published a paper in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care urging drug companies to develop a version of the Pill that could terminate a pregnancy after the egg and sperm have joined. The scientists are aware that this so-called “abortion by the back-door” would receive its fair share of criticism.
“A woman could potentially use a post-fertilization method on a planned schedule only once in each menstrual cycle, no matter how many prior coital acts she had had in that cycle,” the experts wrote.
“If the drug were effective when administered after implantation of an embryo, timing would be flexible, and she might even be able to limit its use on average to a few times a year when her menstrual period was late. Importantly, post-fertilization methods would eliminate the conceptual and logistical challenge of needing to obtain and initiate contraception before having sex, which can be daunting for both women and men.”
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Many women who take the current version of the pill suffer side effects including weight gain, headaches, nausea and risk developing blood clots and breast cancer, The Daily Mail reported.
The paper’s lead author, Dr. Elizabeth Raymond, said that the side effects of some of the current contraceptive methods are not a popular topic within the industry.
“The family planning advocacy community has not wanted to really talk about that very much because it could raise concerns about those contraceptives as well and that could be a problem,” she said. “But we feel we need to be open and start really talking about how the current methods really work and how this future method could work if we could develop it. Overall, that will help us make progress. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”